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Showing posts from 2016

2,210 Miles & 4 Races in 2016

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Run This Year

2,016 miles - that was my distance running goal for 2016. When I started training for this year's ultras, hitting the weekly goal just happened. I averaged 42 miles a week and I ran 2,210 miles in 2016.


4 Races in 2016 from a 25K to a 50 Mile Race
I ran in four races this year, the shortest and longest races were held close to home at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas (top picture).
The Woodlands is even closer to home and this year I was able to start up close to the front just behind the pros in the marathon because I went to a pre-race class.
When I found out that we were driving to California last November, I registered for a race that would be right on the way - a 50K in Arizona.
12/10/16 Brazos Bend 50 Mile Trail Race in Texas; Time: 9:55:03; My 2nd 50 mile race! 11/12/16 Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Arizona; Time: 7:52:56; My 3rd 50K! 4/16/16 Brazos Bend 25K Trail Race in Texas; Time: 2:30; 3rd in my age group! 3/5/16 The Woodlands Marathon in Texas, Time: 4:15; My …

Peppermint or Pumpkin, Hot or Cold!

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It's been both cold and warm in southeast Texas lately - perfect for trying new flavored tea and coffee recipes, both hot and iced. This week, I've run when it was a chilly 30 and a warmish 70 like today when I ran my longest run (9 miles) since my 50 mile race two weeks ago.

Hot or Iced Peppermint Recipes

If you use the microwave like I did with all of my hot drinks, you'll have a drink faster than it would take for you to go through a drive-through.

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate warmed me up after I ran 6 miles, walked Zoe, stretched and foam rolled yesterday.

Iced Peppermint Mocha is what I made with some leftover coffee. Just add chocolate syrup and peppermint extract to your coffee. No recipe needed.


Pumpkin Tea and Pumpkin Coffee Recipes

You might have added pumpkin to your yogurt or oatmeal before, but have you ever added it to your tea or coffee?

Pumpkin Chai (pictured) I added in a caramel because my mother-in-law gave us 3 pounds of Dewar's candy. My best estim…

Ultrarunning and Leaning to One Side

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Have you ever gone for a run and felt your body leaning to one side? During the Brazos Bend 50 Mile race, I had been leaning to the left since mile 30 or so. It didn't hurt, but the farther I ran the more I had to work to keep from leaning left. 

After I finished the race after 9 hours and 55 minutes of running, I was given a chair to rest in and then the race doctor walked with me to my car. By then, I was hardly leaning to one side and I felt normal. When I told him that I often lean left in the later miles of ultras, he said that if I always lean towards the left, I could try a hip stretch to prevent it and that I might be over-compensating for a problem in my lower back/right side. 

My 50 Mile Goals 
I will start at an easy pace.When something goes wrong, work through it!There's no giving up!  All accomplished on race day, 12/10/16!
How I Exercised Last Week 

After completing the Brazos Bend 50 Mile race on Saturday, I eased back into running with 12 miles of running. Running h…

Brazos Bend 50 Mile Trail Race Report

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I ran the Brazos Bend 50 Mile Trail Race yesterday! Last year, I ran my first 50 mile race on the same course. 

Course Notes: Soon after starting the race, I was stopped in my tracks by a herd of 10 or so wild hogs who ran across the trail. At the same time, coming the other direction was Caroline Boller who ran the fastest national 50 mile time yesterday in 5:48:01.

Running with Mark and Jessica made the first loop go by quickly. Later, I actually backtracked on the course to see two alligators (am I crazy, or what?), but I'm glad that two runners, Charlie and Ashley, pointed them out to me. There was a girl with them on a bike that kept me company and encouraged me by telling me I was keeping a good pace.

The 50 mile race was three loops that went through the start/finish line twice during the race so I was able to stop at my drop bag twice. There were a few rocks and some tacky mud that you could mostly avoid by running on the grass beside the dirt trail. We ran by lakes and mars…

50 Mile Race Coming Up

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Time for a Flagstaff stop-off on our way home, but not before waking up to the first snowfall of the year. On Saturday, I woke up to a winter wonderland! I looked out of the RV and saw a beautiful view - snow covered the ground, our Jeep and the mountain behind the KOA Flagstaff campground.

Last week, I ran 52 miles while on vacation in Yosemite and Bakersfield, California. Back at home in Texas, I've put in 3 days of running: a 9, 6 and 10 mile run. Tomorrow, I hope to run 5 miles. My neighborhood park is nice, but I've missed running on the beautiful Yosemite trails like I did last week. At least I don't have to watch out for bears now!

I ran the Pass Mountain 50K trail race in Arizona on November 12 and my next race will be held on December 10 and it's going to be a long one...

50 miles is the longest distance I've ever run and my next race will be my second time to stand at the start line of a 50 mile race - the Brazos Bend 50 Mile Trail Race in Texas. As usual…

Yosemite Running and Hiking

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After I ran the Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Arizona, we headed to California. We stayed in our RV at Yosemite National Park. I ran in the mornings and we hiked afterwards. One day we set out for an easy/intermediate hiking day, but after running into a Park intern who told us that we were on the wrong trail, we turned around and headed up another 1,000 feet for a total of about 2,000 feet elevation climb. That meant we not only hiked to Vernal Falls, but to Nevada Falls, too. That was a 9 mile and 6 hour hiking day. It's a good thing that we brought extra food!



The following photos were taken on my early morning runs of about 4 miles to 9 miles long.




I ran through rain, on the icy trails and in the woods long before the crowds were awake. I loved it!

Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race Recap

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I crossed the finish line of the Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Mesa, Arizona, near Phoenix, on November 12 in about 7:53. I'm the one waving at the start of the race in the photo. It's fun to see runners that I ran and chatted with during the race in that photo.

During the last and longest mile of the race when I really wanted to quit because I was so thirsty and hot and maybe a little sad about my time, I planned out exactly what I'd do when I finished: call my husband who I thought would be at our RV site, get some water (I ran out - the last part took longer than I estimated) and lay down. 

But instead, I hugged my husband who was at the finish line and I chatted with the other finishers. I was really happy to have finished! I cleaned up and we went out to eat in nearby Chandler where I got in a little mall walking, which felt good to my sore muscles.

Getting There: It took my husband and I two days to get to the race start... We drove our RV from Texas to Arizona. Race …

Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch Review

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After running without a GPS watch for about a year, I caved in and bought one for the 50K Pass Mountain trail race I'm running on November 12 in Arizona. I bought my Garmin Forerunner 35 yesterday morning at The Woodlands Fleet Feet store, charged it up and ran with it at lunch time. There were three things that surprised me about my new watch.

Three Things I Like About My Forerunner 35 GPS Watch
It's easy to read when I'm outside. I was afraid about not being able to read the numbers without reading glasses, but I didn't have any problems. (See photo.)It's so light-weight that I hardly notice that it's there. Last week, I tried a Garmin Forerunner 310XT, but it was too heavy on my wrist.I've really missed seeing my mileage while I'm running. After my watch battery died on Christmas morning last year, I've only used the Strava app to track my running. I like it and will continue to use it, but it tells me my mileage and pace only every 1/2 mile. I l…

Glad I Had a Camera!

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Before today, the most interesting thing I've seen on a Texas run was an alligator. This morning, it was foggy as I turned the corner to head into the woods on my run. I looked towards the hill that I have run on numerous times to see something that I've never seen there before - a pirate.

I was a little spooked. All decked out in pirate garb, he walked towards me. I saw his sword, but I had pepper spray. Finally, he was close to me. I said something. He didn't speak, but he smiled and kept walking. And so ends my story of the silent pirate in the woods on Halloween morning.

After seeing the pirate, I did 2 miles of hill running in the woods. I'm ready for the Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Mesa, Arizona, which is near Phoenix. Race day is November 12!


50K Links to Help You Run Your Best 50K

Off to a Strong Start With the Sean O’Brien 50K (Sarah L. Smith)
Race Like an Ultra Vet—Even at Your First 50K (Alex Kurt)
50K vs. Marathon Training - 3 Differences (Tina@GottaRunNow!)

25 Mile Run: Overcoming Problems

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I ran 25 miles yesterday. I had a couple of minor problems, but I want those to show up in training instead of during my race. Race day is only 3 weeks away, on November 12. I'm signed up for a 50K trail race - the Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Mesa, Arizona, which is near Phoenix. From what I've read, I need to watch out for bees and rattle snakes at the park where the race takes place. 

25 Miler - The Good

1. Nutrition

Before run: 4 hours pre-run (3 hours pre-run would have been fine, but I woke up at 1:30 so I ate then, fell asleep again until 5): Glukos Peanut Butter Bar (tastes like a date bar), 30 minutes pre-run: 1/2 banana

During run:The Glukos drink powder, 8 fig cookies from Aldi store (98 cents/pkg!), 2 PowerGels (the gels have a thinner consistency than Gu gels), 8 peanut M&M's and 1/2 banana kept me feeling strong without any stomach troubles or cramps of any kind. I ate about 200 calories/45 carbohydrates an hour. It sounds like a lot of food, but I'm p…

45 Mile Week with New Running Belt

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Do you wear a running belt? I bought the Foot Forward Running Belt for $17 because my old running belt has a small hole in it and I was tired of placing my phone in a baggy to protect it from sweat. After wearing my new belt for a week, here's what I think about it. 

What I Like About My Running Belt 
Two Pockets: gels in one pocket and my phone in another
Sweatproof pockets: Good-bye, plastic baggies!
Comfortable on my waist

How I'd Improve It
I bought it to use as a hip belt, but when I wear it on my hips, it rides up to my waist.
A headphone port would be a plus.

13 Mile Progression Run

Yesterday's 13 mile run was a fun progression run. I started out easy, not worrying about my pace. After three miles, I tried to pick up the speed and I was able to do it. After that, I tried to increase my pace by 15 seconds every 3 miles.  Although the splits weren't 15 seconds faster on-the-dot, I was able to speed up over the run and that made me a happy runner. 

I only know my split times…

50K in 5 Weeks: Time for a 22 Mile Run!

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Yesterday, I ran 22 miles. Before the run, I hit a glitch or two which caused me to start a little later than planned. First, I had trouble fitting my phone and my phone battery charger into the water belt I planned to use. Then I was reminded that gels don't mix well with water after I squeezed the gel from two packets into a bottle I had planned to carry. 

So instead of using a belt, I filled my Camelbak pack with 40 ounces of water, stuffed 6 Tri-berry GU gels into two skirt pockets and put the 10 ounce bottle of water with 2 gels in it on the front porch. I started the run in my neighborhood and ran to the park later.

I drank the gels in the water bottle at miles 5 (porch stop after running 1 hour) and 7 (porch stop) and ate one gel at miles 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18. I didn't finish the gels for one or two miles in order to give my stomach time to digest them. My stomach felt fine the whole time. 



It was warmer this week than last week so I ran this 22 mile at a slower pace (12:…

Prepping for 50K: 20 Miles on Glukos

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I'm running a 50K trail race in 6 weeks - the Pass Mountain Trail 50K Race in Mesa, Arizona, held on November 12. I've been doing hill repeats on the steepest little hill near my house. I do squats and lunges while I wait for my Keurig to make coffee. I've increased my mileage - 58 miles this week. I also tried some new products that I might use at the race that I won in a Glukos Energy giveaway.

How I Fueled My 20 Mile Run

Not wanting to try too many new things at once, before yesterday's run I had coffee with oatmeal mixed with banana, cinnamon and walnuts instead of one of the bars that I won. During the run, I used one Glukos drink mix, one Glukos gel, and 14 Glukos tablets, which is 120 carbohydrates and 390 calories total for my 3hr 40 min run. I ate/drank something every 2 miles from miles 4 to 16.

Results of My Glukos Experiment

I've used orange, lemon and fruit punch flavors and liked them all. Every product has a light sweetness that's just right (they …

Sweet 16 Mile Run

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I ran my longest run of the week, a 16 miler, yesterday. Even though it still hasn't cooled down here in Texas, it wasn't a difficult run. The only thing I would change is my fuel. 16 miles on Gatorade left me feeling tired of sweetness. 

The next time I go on a long run, I'll drink water or bring some non-sweet food in order to give my taste buds a change. With lots of sugar keeping me going, I didn't run low on energy, though. I ran the second half of my run the fastest.

How I fueled my 3 hour 16 mile run:
Gatorade (36 oz.)Fig cookies (2 at miles 4 and 8)M&M's (5 at miles 12 and 13)
Today I ran 11 miles. Why a slightly longer run right after a long run? Because I'm training for a 50K held in 7 weeks - the Pass Mountain 50k trail race in Mesa, Arizona!
How I Exercised this Week 

Monday: 10 mile run with 10 hills, dumbbell workout plus squats/push-ups/wall sits
Tuesday: 6 mile run with strides
Wednesday: 9 mile run, 20 min. of other exercises like squats/dumbbell w…

My 14 Mile Cookie Run

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I ran 14 miles today in my new running shoes. It wasn't too risky to do a long run in new shoes since they're the third pair of the same model I've worn and liked - the Mizuno Wave Kazan trail shoe. There could have been a problem unique to that pair, but I was close to home and knew that I could trade them for another pair if I had a problem. No problems, though!

I ran in my neighborhood for the first 7 miles because it was dark. I stopped every couple of miles for a drink from my water bottle sitting on my front porch. I had a GU electrolyte tab in my water for the sodium. It was warm during my run (about 75 degrees, but it felt more like 85) and I was thankful for the light breeze.

I ate two fig cookies after running 8 miles. I brought raisins, but I didn't eat them. Before the run, I had coffee, yogurt and a pop-tart. After the run, I had chocolate milk and oatmeal with a banana.

After my run, I stopped at the stairs and ran up them 10 times. Last time I only ran …

Running: My 60 Mile Week

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For lunch today, I used a recipe from Shalane Flanagan's book, Run Fast, Eat Slow. The Omega Sardine Salad is a favorite recovery meal for Amy Cragg. I was happily surprised that I could hardly taste the sardines in it and that it tasted good, but my husband, sitting beside me and eating a hot dog, said he could definitely smell the sardines!

Saturday: One of the best perks of rising early for a run - seeing the sun rise. I took a full day of rest today. That means I missed the chance of seeing a beautiful sunrise like the one in the photo, but the rest is good for me.

Sunday: 10mile run with 1 mile hard/easy runs repeated;strength training: arms, abs



Labor Day: After a 7 mile run and doing exercises like lunges, planks, squats, my husband and I took a drive about 40 minutes north of home on I-45 to Annette's Antiques in New Waverly, Texas. It was fun to wander through the barn. Then we hit up some more antique shops in Huntsville and Old Town Spring. After that, I took a nap and…